Hendersonville, NC June 6, 2018 - Representative Chuck McGrady worked with the NC Literacy Association to understand the economic impact of adult education providers across the State who were losing their traditional funding.

The NC Community College System (the System Office) through its College and Career Readiness Department receives $21M in funding from the federal government to implement the Adult Education & Family Literacy Act of the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act. These funds are provided to each state to ensure the workforce is receiving the education, training, and support needed to provide economically strong communities, which in turn reduces unemployment, underemployment, and the use of welfare programs. 

 The funds are then awarded by the System Office to adult education providers across North Carolina including community colleges and non-profits that provide adult literacy and English as a Second Language services. The System Office changed their awarding process including the release of a new application, rubric, and funding formula. The new process left five community colleges and six non-profit literacy organizations without funding.

Representative McGrady was able to add a provision to the 2018-2019 State Budget allowing up to $2M in mitigation funds (available for one year) for those agencies who lost funding. Each organization will receive up to 75% of the funding they will lose, which will ensure that approximately 2000 adult learners across the state maintain access to services. These services lead to

self-sufficiency for adult learners and their families. Students like Wayne who received one-on-one tutoring at a Literacy Council was able to improve his literacy skills that upon in-take were equivalent to a fourth grade level. When he began his tutoring his earning potential was $12,000 per year. After completing a year of services he was able to enroll in a trucking academy and successfully completed his education and obtained his CDL. Today, he is employed with benefits and earns $55,000 per year.

“NC Literacy Association is grateful to Representative McGrady and the NC General Assembly for allowing a year of adjustment for the community colleges and non-profits that will need to find alternative funding sources or change how their programs are delivered,” stated Autumn Weil, President of the NC Literacy Association Board, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Literacy Council, and Member of the Mountain Area Workforce Board.

The NC Literacy Association supports the development and sustained growth of independent community-based literacy programs through public awareness, advocacy, and the sharing of ideas and methodologies. By working together, we can strengthen all our communities. And we can help to improve the lives of all our students.